EHR Matters 01-14-10

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Topics Include: CVS/Caremark and Allscripts Partnership New Ingenix Program NAMCS Results

Category: EHR Matters
Date: January 19, 2010
Views:5,397 views

Hello, I’m Lindsay Pine and this is EHR Matters for Thursday, January 14th.
CVS/Caremark and Allscripts might soon have a stronger business partnership. CVS/Caremark will no longer use its current e-prescribing software, and begin utilizing Allscript’s ePrescribe system. CVS will also encourage its customers to purchase the complete Allscripts Electronic Health Record.

Allscripts, a SaaS vendor, is also a partner in Google Health, so if a doctor uses Allscripts and a CVS pharmacy, populating patients’ personal health records will be even more accessible.

The current deal is just a partnership, but CVS may be in a position to buy AllScripts in the future. CVS has a market cap of over $47 billion, while Allscripts remains flat at $2.85 billion in value.

In addition to CVS and Allscripts, other companies are also finding partnerships of business value in the competitive Health Information Technology market…

In response to a recent Ingenix survey, Ingenix and OptumHealth Bank are offering interest-free loans to help physicians adopt electronic health records. This program would reduce financial burden to physicians by eliminating upfront, out-of-pocket costs for EHR implementation prior to the arrival of Federal stimulus reimbursements.

According to a recent Ingenix survey of 1,000 physicians and physician practice administrators, more than 80 percent of participants ranked cost as one of the greatest risks to deploying technology in their practice.

To address this issue, Ingenix launched a new program that enables physicians to implement Ingenix CareTracker EHR with no out-of-pocket costs and no payments until 2011, which is when ARRA reimbursements for EHRs begin.

Qualifying U.S. physicians can receive an interest-free loan from Ingenix to license and implement CareTracker EHR and Practice Management software. The loans will be underwritten by OptumHealth Bank, Member FDIC, and will cover implementation and monthly subscription costs until November 30, 2015. Qualifying physicians can repay the loans with annual reimbursement dollars from the incentives authorized in the stimulus bill. Under the terms of the ARRA, physicians can receive up to $44,000 in Medicare reimbursements over five years for implementing an EHR and demonstrating meaningful use of the technology.

Ingenix also guarantees that CareTracker EHR will support "meaningful use" requirements physicians must meet to be eligible for the incentive payments.

And Finally, According to 2009 preliminary estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4 of every 10 office-based physicians use electronic health records.

According to the current 2009 estimates, 43.9 percent of physicians reported using full or partial EMR/EHR systems in office-based practices. About 20.5 percent reported having systems that meet the criteria of a basic system, and 6.3 percent reported using a fully functional system.

A basic system is defined as having patient demographic information, patient problem lists, clinical notes, orders for prescriptions and viewing laboratory and imaging results. In addition, a fully functional system includes medical history and follow-up, orders for tests, prescription and test orders sent electronically, warnings of drug interactions or contraindications, highlighting of out-of-range test levels, and reminders for guideline-based interventions.

The survey indicates that from 2007-2008, physicians' use of any EMR system increased by 18.7 percent and the percentage of physicians reporting having systems that meet the criteria of a basic system increased by 41.5 percent.

I’m Lindsay Pine and this has been EHR Matters-Thanks for watching.

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